(Topic ID: 142007)

SmartDMD Color Display Setup Guide


By Crash

4 years ago



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  • 84 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Crash
  • Topic is favorited by 34 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 years ago

    A fantastic Pinsider named oga83 has provided us with an all-inclusive color LCD display alternative for traditional plasma dot matrix displays used in the most popular Bally, Williams, Data East, Sega, Capcom, and Stern games. SmartDMD, in short, is a piece of software than runs on a Raspberry Pi portable computer and serves as a stand-in replacement for expensive and obsolete 25 year old plasma DMDs. To familiarize yourself with the system, go here:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/smartdmd-dmd-interface-with-colors-upscaling-network-and-more

    If you are interested in going this route to replace your plasma, LED, or DMD Extender display system, you will find this guide helpful. I will cover all parts involved and list instructions on connecting everything together to make a working replacement full-color display solution to keep your games reliable and working for years.

    List of required parts

    Official Raspberry PI Model A+ 256M 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 CPU 256MB RAM HDM: $30
    ebay.com link » Official Raspberry Pi Model A 256m 700mhz Broadcom Bcm2835 Cpu 256mb Ram Hdmi

    5V 2A Micro USB Charger Adapter Cable Power Supply for Raspberry Pi B+ B US Plug: $5

    ebay.com link » 5v 2a Micro Usb Charger Adapter Cable Power Supply For Raspberry Pi B B Us Plug

    SmartDMD board from oga83: $70
    https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/oga83/contact

    Kingston 4GB MicroSD HC MicroSDHC Memory Card 4 GB SDC4/4GB with Adapter: $6
    ebay.com link » Kingston 4gb Microsd Hc Microsdhc Memory Card 4 Gb Sdc4 4gb With Adapter

    HDMI DVI VGA Audio controller board for 15.6" B156HW01 LP156WF1 1920x1080 lcd
    : $30
    ebay.com link » Hdmi Dvi Vga Audio Controller Board For 15 6 B156hw01 Lp156wf1 1920x1080 Lcd

    12V 4A AC DC Power Supply 4 Amp 12 Volt Adapter Charger LCD Screen 5.5mm * 2.5mm: $8
    ebay.com link » 12v 4a Ac Dc Power Supply 4 Amp 12 Volt Adapter Charger Lcd Screen 5 5mm 2 5mm

    1FT Premium High Speed v1.4 HDMI Cable 1080P Ethernet 3D For DVD PS3 BluRay HDTV: $2
    ebay.com link » 1ft Premium High Speed V1 4 Hdmi Cable 1080p Ethernet 3d For Dvd Ps3 Bluray Hdtv

    NEW LG PHILIPS LP156WF1(TL)(B2) LAPTOP LCD SCREEN 15.6: $58
    ebay.com link » New Lg Philips Lp156wf1 Tl B2 Laptop Lcd Screen 15 6

    If you have Maverick, Frankenstein, Baywatch, or Batman Forever you will need this display instead.

    LAPTOP LCD LED SCREEN 17.3" FOR LG LP173WF1(TL)(C1) LP173WF1-TLC1: $60
    ebay.com link

    454.jpg

    Assembly instructions

    Connect the small 14 pin connector on the DMD driver board to the SmartDMD input socket as shown using the supplied ribbon cable. Be sure the red stripe is on the side marked pin 1 on the DMD driver board and on the left side when plugged in to the SmartDMD board. With the game off, plug in the power connector on the DMD driver board.

    Carefully insert the GPIO header on the Raspberry Pi board into the corresponding socket on the SmartDMD board. Connect the socket furthest from the USB ports on the board. Insert the micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi's SD card slot, and connect one end the HDMI cable to the Pi's HDMI out connection.

    Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the LCD controller board's HDMI input. The remote board and LVDS harness should already be connected to the controller. If not, attach the main harness lining up the dots/arrows on the plug and receiver socket. Attach the remote board harness. Attach the flat LVDS connector to the display's socket on the bottom. I would suggest taping down the black sleeve protruding from the contacts to prevent it from wiggling loose during installation. Finally, attach the 12v power supply's DC plug to the controller board's power input connection. Attach the 5v power supply's micro USB plug to the Raspberry Pi's micro USB port.

    Plug in the power supplies, turn on the game, and the SmartDMD logo will display briefly on the screen followed by the game's DMD image. You will get a good starting picture, and from there you can insert the SD card into your PC and use the Pinball Browser utility program to customize the image, register the product key, as well as make further geometry and position adjustments using the LCD controller's included remote board.

    456.jpg
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    Configuring and using Pinball Browser with SmartDMD

    SmartDMD uses Pinball Browser for configuration.

    1.png

    Click on the SmartDMD tab and the SmartDMD configuration button.

    2.png

    You will be asked to navigate to the drive letter/path corresponding to your SD card containing the SmartDMD executable. Open SmartDMD.txt in the similarly named folder and the main window will appear.

    3.png

    Resolution
    Choose the display resolution that best matches your screen.

    4.png

    Borders
    Enter a positive number to reduce the size of the DMD image or a negative number to stretch it out. Here are some good 128x32 settings to get you started.

    15.png

    Type
    Select the manufacturer of your game.

    5.png

    Size
    Specify the size of your DMD panel. Choose 128x32 unless you have Frankenstein, Baywatch, Maverick, or Batman Forever.

    6.png

    Upscaling
    Choose upscaling scheme. Leave this at None for plain dots.

    7.png

    Color mode
    If using colorized display ROMs, specify how the color information is being stored.

    8.png

    Position on screen
    Adjust the Horizontal and Vertical sliders to adjust the image's position using the Screen Preview window.

    17.png

    16.png

    Frame width
    Enter a number corresponding to the thickness of your border and choose a border color.

    18.png

    Dot shape and size
    Choose from a list of preset dot shapes, or draw your own 8x8 bitmap. The size of the bitmap affects the size of the image.

    9.png

    Backgrounds
    Add and remove background images that will surround your DMD image. If you add multiple images they will rotate in a cycle.

    19.png

    Network
    Enable network broadcasting of the DMD video stream in real time.

    20.png

    Palettes

    This is the list of palettes. Click New to add a palette, Default to make the selected palette default, etc. Click Auto to automatically generate a monochromatic gradient from the currently selected color.

    10.png

    Click a color to display the Windows color chooser for that shade.

    11.png

    License registration

    To enter your license key click Enter License on the main Pinball Browser window. When making your donation, provide your token ID and the eight character serial number displayed on the SmartDMD splash screen to oga83 to obtain your unique license key.

    12.png

    Remote SmartDMD display

    Click the screen button under the SmartDMD tab to receive a real time stream of your DMD over your local area network (if configured) and post screen captures to Facebook.

    13.png

    14.png

    Building the kit

    Now we are ready to assemble the kit to use in your game. In this example we are replacing a 128x32 plasma display in a Data East Jurassic Park.

    Begin with a 1/4" thick sheet of plexiglass. Score and cut to the same dimensions as your 15.6" LCD display panel. Mark and drill 5 holes for the game's original mounting posts for the old DMD. Do not drill the top center hole as the display will cover this area.

    467.jpg

    Cut a channel from the rear lip on the top of the speaker panel equivalent to the length of you sheet. This will allow the display to fit cleanly within the DMD window. Perform a test fit of your sheet on the speaker panel.

    468.jpg

    469.jpg

    Mark and make a small cutout for the screen's LVDS video connector.

    470.jpg

    Affix the plexiglass sheet to the back of the LCD panel using adhesive velcro tape. This will allow you to replace the display panel later should it fail. Be extremely careful to get the alignment as straight as possible during this step.

    471.jpg

    Remove, clean, and line the plastic window inlay with 3/8" width standard density weather stripping. This will provide a cushion for the display panel and ensure a good fit.

    472.jpg

    Secure the inlay window with tape on both ends to prevent it from shifting when installing the panel.

    473.jpg

    Install 2 1/4" rubber grommets per mounting post to ensure a safe and solid fit for the panel. For the bottom center post you will need to trim 1/3" of the material to leave enough room for the LCD's bottom edge.

    475.jpg

    474.jpg

    Install your plexiglass display panel over the posts, securing with nuts. For this kit we oriented the display upside down, leaving the video connector on top. This allows for best viewing angles during play.

    476.jpg

    Next we will begin installing the boards on the back face. Starting with the display driver board, install two more grommets for the three mounting posts and fit in place. Secure with 3 nuts and remember to attach the ground strap for the corresponding corner post.

    477.jpg

    478.jpg

    Install the remaining boards using adhesive feet and zip ties. I would suggest adding a small piece of foam below the GPIO header on the SmartDMD board to provide extra support when installed on the Raspberry Pi. We arranged the LCD controller board so the HDMI plug provides support to the floating corner of the DMD driver board.

    480.jpg

    479.jpg

    481.jpg

    Remove any lamps or LEDs that will be in the way when installing your completed kit. Run power adapters for the Pi and LCD display controller through the cabinet and power up. Continue adjusting image size and position in Pinball Browser to get the best fit.

    482.jpg

    483.jpg

    #2 4 years ago

    Thanks Crash. You are the man!

    1 week later
    #3 4 years ago

    Bump for the SmartDMD crowd.

    #4 4 years ago

    Crap for $154 this might be worth doing. What about the code? What games are coded for smartDMD? And are they free? Selling the code is what turned me off of SmartDMD in the first place. Thanks for the instructions though. Seems pretty easy to do? And also how do you mount it? Use existing brackets somehow?

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    Crap for $154 this might be worth doing. What about the code? What games are coded for smartDMD? And are they free? Selling the code is what turned me off of SmartDMD in the first place. Thanks for the instructions though. Seems pretty easy to do? And also how do you mount it? Use existing brackets somehow?

    So you dislike people selling the code for say $50 putting the finished product at $204 but you're ok with color DMD providing the code "for free" with their purchase of $400?

    #6 4 years ago

    Please,include a working video in a pinball machine
    Thanks

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    So you dislike people selling the code for say $50 putting the finished product at $204 but you're ok with color DMD providing the code "for free" with their purchase of $400?

    Yes this is exactly it. With colorDMD I can try it in 10 different games. Now if I had to pay $50 for each game that would suck ass. Plus for $400 they are buying all the parts and putting them together for me, it's plug and play. And their customer service is great, if you have an issue with your colorDMD they walk you through fixing it or replace it for you. This is a much cheaper option I'd like to try out, but I buy the parts and put them together myself, if I screw up, too bad for me I'm out that investment. If one of the parts doesn't work, I'm screwed, and so on. So yeah I don't mind colordmds plug and play option with a warantee for $400 at all.

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    Now if I had to pay $50 for each game that would suck ass

    The SmartDmd license is $35 and it can be used on any game. The license is bound to the Raspberry, not the game.

    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    if I screw up, too bad for me I'm out that investment. If one of the parts doesn't work, I'm screwed

    With a DIY solution, you can easily replace a part

    #9 4 years ago

    Nice to see you coming around Crash

    #10 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    Yes this is exactly it. With colorDMD I can try it in 10 different games. Now if I had to pay $50 for each game that would suck ass. Plus for $400 they are buying all the parts and putting them together for me, it's plug and play. And their customer service is great, if you have an issue with your colorDMD they walk you through fixing it or replace it for you. This is a much cheaper option I'd like to try out, but I buy the parts and put them together myself, if I screw up, too bad for me I'm out that investment. If one of the parts doesn't work, I'm screwed, and so on. So yeah I don't mind colordmds plug and play option with a warantee for $400 at all.

    FYI - my color files (ACDC and MET) are free to any licensed PB user. So, if you pay Oga $35 for a license you can have my work for free (all 200+ hours of it), even if you've trashed talked my colorization work in other peoples threads

    To answer your question, the following games have been colorized already:

    1) ACDC
    2) MET
    3) Avengers
    4) Family Guy
    5) POTC
    6) Mustang
    7) Shrek

    and More are in process

    It's up to you to seek out the individuals who colorized the ROMs and see if they'll be willing to share their hard work with you. However, based on all the posts you've made in previous SDMD threads, I don't think this is the product for you. My personal recommendation is that you stick with CDMD. If you want plug and play then you've missed the whole point of what SDMD is. Keep on flipping and I wish you all the best.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMikeD:

    FYI - my color files (ACDC and MET) are free to any licensed PB user. So, if you pay Oga $35 for a license you can have my work for free (all 200+ hours of it), even if you've trashed talked my colorization work in other peoples threads
    To answer your question, the following games have been colorized already:
    1) ACDC
    2) MET
    3) Avengers
    4) Family Guy
    5) POTC
    6) Mustang
    7) Shrek
    and More are in process
    It's up to you to seek out the individuals who colorized the ROMs and see if they'll be willing to share there hard work with you. However, based on all the posts you've made in previous SDMD threads, I don't think this is the product for you. My personal recommendation is that you stick with CDMD. If you want plug and play then you've missed the whole point of what SDMD is. Keep on flipping and I wish you all the best.

    I actually complimented your work in other threads and said I liked it better because it was brighter so I don't know what you are talking about And I think you are right, SmartDMD isn't for me. I thought I read somewhere they changed their business model and weren't charging for colonization anymore but it appears not to be that way. And the list of coloured games is too small, I don't own any of them And it's not that I want plug and play, I don't mind putting something together. I was just answering Mark's ridiculous statement.

    #12 4 years ago

    Getting back on topic, I'll be adding some software setup steps pretty soon to cover that area. I will include some photos of the setup working in a Jurassic Park once I get everything together.

    #13 4 years ago

    Done.

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    Crap for $154 this might be worth doing.

    where do you get $154 from? if i add it all up it comes to $222.

    #15 4 years ago

    I didn't bother to add everything up but in comparison I've usually been able to do DMD Extender conversions for under $250.

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from Jdawg4422:

    where do you get $154 from? if i add it all up it comes to $222.

    No you are right, it comes to $222. He must have edited it after or I missed a few items when adding.

    #17 4 years ago

    Just ordered all the ebay parts. Credit card got locked down for fraud, lol! Cleared that up and I am very excited to get this going on my GNR

    #18 4 years ago

    I was planning on using one of these along with a power strip to provide switched AC for the power supplies.

    http://www.powerswitchtail.com/Pages/default.aspx

    Just need to tap into 5vdc for the relay. I know I could add an outlet after the power switch but I'd rather not hack up my 120V service outlet. Anyone have another way of doing this? Also, are there any timing issues to worry about on power up?

    #19 4 years ago

    I have installed a couple in stern systems, they have a spare AC konnektor on the left of the coin door which only powers on when the pin is switched on

    I than use a seperate AC power supply to run the raspberry and lcd display

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    I actually complimented your work in other threads and said I liked it better because it was brighter so I don't know what you are talking about And I think you are right, SmartDMD isn't for me. I thought I read somewhere they changed their business model and weren't charging for colonization anymore but it appears not to be that way. And the list of coloured games is too small, I don't own any of them And it's not that I want plug and play, I don't mind putting something together. I was just answering Mark's ridiculous statement.

    I'm sorry, I guess I just took your comments below out of context - my apologies. Anyway, I don't want to derail Crash's thread. Sorry, guess I was just in a bad mood yesterday morning. Great thread Crash.

    Screen_Shot_2015-10-28_at_6.17.12_AM.png

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMikeD:

    I'm sorry, I guess I just took your comments below out of context - my apologies. Anyway, I don't want to derail Crash's thread. Sorry, guess I was just in a bad mood yesterday morning. Great thread Crash.

    That wasn't about your work at all? I was commenting about other people's work I saw that ended up being a work in progress and looked pretty good when they finished. I do find it funny how out of all the great things I said about SmartDMD and your work specifically, that you search the forum and find the one tiny little thing I said about someone else's preliminary work and post that. Why did you not post the comment I directly made about your AC/DC work below?

    Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

    Thanks for this comparison thread Aurich! I was deciding between both myself but after seeing both side by side I personally like the look of SmartDMD better. I like the brighter colours and brighter screen of SmartDMD. Plus SmartDMD is doing more games I own in the future like TWD and Xmen which to my knowledge ColorDMD isn't doing these titles.

    #22 4 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMikeD:

    I'm sorry, I guess I just took your comments below out of context - my apologies. Anyway, I don't want to derail Crash's thread. Sorry, guess I was just in a bad mood yesterday morning. Great thread Crash.

    No big deal. Guys, let's keep the discussion focused on hardware and software please. Feel free to continue in PMs.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from Jgaltr56:

    I was planning on using one of these along with a power strip to provide switched AC for the power supplies.
    http://www.powerswitchtail.com/Pages/default.aspx
    Just need to tap into 5vdc for the relay. I know I could add an outlet after the power switch but I'd rather not hack up my 120V service outlet. Anyone have another way of doing this? Also, are there any timing issues to worry about on power up?

    We just use a 3-way plug splitter with the service outlet. On some games this is switched, others it's not. Now that you mention it, this is going to be an issue when the game is turned off on location (kids, ball stuck, etc.). While the display controller will go to sleep if the display signal turns off, the Pi will not. Oga is there a way to include a sleep or shut down feature when the DMD signal goes off that also disconnects the HDMI output? Timing is not an issue as the software will just display "no signal" if the game hasn't booted yet (it should be booted long before the SmartDMD software starts up. If not, you have a problem somewhere).

    Quoted from Rensh:

    I have installed a couple in stern systems, they have a spare AC konnektor on the left of the coin door which only powers on when the pin is switched on
    I than use a seperate AC power supply to run the raspberry and lcd display

    This is probably for bill acceptors. A lot of these used to run on 12v, but it's easier and cheaper to run AC straight from the line box.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    Oga is there a way to include a sleep or shut down feature when the DMD signal goes off that also disconnects the HDMI output?

    This is a good idea. When the game is turned off, SmartDmd could display "No signal" for a few seconds (adjustable) and then switch the hdmi off. Let me figure out how to do this.

    #25 4 years ago

    Can the computer be put in a standby or low power state as well?

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    Can the computer be put in a standby or low power state as well?

    The processor can be slowed down but no put in standby mode.

    If you prefer, you can take the 5v from the game cpu board to power the Raspberry. SmartDmd can safely be switched off with the game. The only drawback is that it takes around 20s to start again (but I think this this could be improved).

    #27 4 years ago

    hey crash could you possibly share how you mount everything?
    I really like the frame pinballmike came up with. I wish he would sell just those and the cable adapters for a decent price. With the cable adapters you wouldnt need to buy the power supplies.

    I like getting power from the machine so it turns off with the machine, but i do understand some games will not be able to do that if it has a weak circuit.

    #28 4 years ago

    Here's some reference photos in the other thread for a Sega kit to give you an idea so far.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/diy-addams-family-poor-mans-color-dmd/page/10#post-2275539

    #29 4 years ago
    Quoted from Jdawg4422:

    hey crash could you possibly share how you mount everything?

    Could we use the mounting kit for the Stern games from the ColorDMD site?
    http://shop.colordmd.com/pinbits-clear-shield-and-mounting-standoffs-for-new-stern-cabinets/

    It might take some customizing but this seems like a good start.

    #30 4 years ago

    I have photos, still finalizing the guide.

    #31 4 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    Oga is there a way to include a sleep or shut down feature when the DMD signal goes off that also disconnects the HDMI output?

    There is a new executable for SmartDmd : v2015-11-04 (beta version)
    If you add the following line into smartdmd.txt, the video signal will be switched off when the game if turned off (instead of a "No Signal" message) :
    video_off_enable=1

    #32 4 years ago

    The guide is now finished with full build steps!

    #33 4 years ago

    Is the large Sega support still in the works?
    I just saw the option in the screenshots for it and wondered if
    it is now functioning with Sega large or if its still in progress?

    Thanks

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from johnjones:

    Is the large Sega support still in the works?
    I just saw the option in the screenshots for it and wondered if
    it is now functioning with Sega large or if its still in progress?
    Thanks

    Bump.

    1 week later
    #35 3 years ago

    Bump for SmartDMD fans.

    #36 3 years ago

    Any word on this if the large Sega displays are working with SmartDMD?
    Has anyone done a Baywatch, Maverick etc. with this?
    I am on the wait list for the DMD extender and looking to see if this is another option ASAP.

    Thanks

    #37 3 years ago

    I got an email from Dr. Pinball, he is going through orders. Should get to you soon.

    #38 3 years ago

    I am next on the list and can confirm my order now from Dr. Pinball.
    I just wondered if I would be missing anything by not looking at the SmartDMD.
    The cost on the SmartDMD is a bit cheaper in USD, but more concerned about
    options for color etc.

    #39 3 years ago

    Not sure how it'll go but I didn't read that the large sized SEGAs weren't supported yet and I ordered everything. May try to install it just to see what happens. I'm also on the Dr. Pinball wait list so one way or another Frankenstein will be 4-colored.

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    I got an email from Dr. Pinball, he is going through orders. Should get to you soon.

    When did you originally put your order in? Mine was from around the start of August and currently no ETA.

    #42 3 years ago

    Sent email July 15, was put on the waiting list July 23, and it was my turn to ship on November 15. So a four month turnaround exactly. I backed out and I'm thinking johnjones got my spot.

    #43 3 years ago

    Crash, did you end up making your own splitter cable/board for this? Looks like you are using a board in pic 480.jpg? Or is that the smartdmd one?

    #44 3 years ago

    That's the SmartDMD board oga83 provides. You can make your own and he explains how to do that in the main thread.

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    That's the SmartDMD board oga83 provides. You can make your own and he explains how to do that in the main thread.

    ahh, I hadn't seen the completed oga83 boards before. I did make my own prototype ones but they look very dodgy, but worked.

    I considered doing a run of printed circuit board's as they'd only be a couple of bucks each and I have a few machines to do, Some other local guys also wanted them so I was looking at trying to make an easy install kit up (pinballmiked still wasn't selling these yet). I still need to buy the smartdmd license's from oga83 anyhow so I might just get the boards from him.

    In his schematics he did mention that there was 3 or more other resistors and connections that were potentially going to be used in the future and his own boards do not currently have those included. My intention was to include those aswell to future proof the boards.

    1 week later
    #46 3 years ago

    Amazing tutorial for an amazing solution. Got it working in test-mode in my MSF Awaiting for the license key and screen!!

    #47 3 years ago

    if there is the possibility of coloring in the DISPLAY mode ?? if only in SmartDmd ??

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from fly:

    if there is the possibility of coloring in the DISPLAY mode ?? if only in SmartDmd ??

    I don't think you can write colorized frames manually, but I do believe you can use the goDMD editor to change the color palette of the current frame to make a pseudo-colorized display. Similar to how some early home computers did multicolored graphics on a character by character basis. As for the details on that, I am not quite sure. The new version of the editor supports palette modification.

    http://www.go-dmd.de

    Further reading:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_Graphics_Adapter#Color_palette

    #49 3 years ago

    I use a "go-DMD"
    It's just that this editor you have to record a game, and how to exchange your VpinMame.dll then do not run the tables SAM,
    eg. SpiderMan, Avatar, Iron Man etc.

    #50 3 years ago

    Correct, you can't do this for SAM games because there is no emulator and no ROMs available. Supposedly that was going to change when Spike was released, but I haven't seen any discussion on making the SAM ROMs public. However, you can use the side channel mode for SAM games by injecting previously unused color data into the CPU ROM using Pinball Browser.

    This is 34 year old technology and we are just getting around to implementing it in pinball. Good stuff!

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